Episode 86: Handling Conflict Effectively with Michael Brown


Welcome back to Episode #86. This Interactive Interview Series is back with a fantastic and fun guest, Michael Brown. We are going to talk about handling conflict effectively. How do you handle conflict in your life? Do you run away from it? Do you deny it even exists? Does it stress you out? Do you know exactly what to do? Conflict can affect all of us at some point in our lives and knowing how to handle it is one of the best tools in your interactions power box, and Michael is the ultimate expert on helping us resolve conflict while making a serious topic entertaining and fun!

In the interview, Michael puts a real spin on the word interactive plus there is a fun segment where I take some risks but letting my guest run the show for a few minutes!.

Michael is a true expert at communicating effectively. Today we want to focus on one element: conflict resolution – in other words, how to win those inevitable battles and arguments instead of avoiding them or caving in all the time? But Michael’s real strength is that he can make these serious topics FUN and give us “real learning for a change”. In fact, he lives up to that phrase because you can find him at Real Learning For A Change, his fantastic repository of information and blogs.


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Interview Questions: Handling Conflict Effectively

1. Let’s start with the thing we all want to avoid: Conflict! It happens to all of us. I mean if conflict never happens in your life, you are not living. So what I really want to know about conflict is this: Tell us please all the (potential) GOOD POSITIVE things that can come out of conflict. Can you help us shift our perspective (of fear and resistance and avoidance) around conflict, Michael?

2. It’s too bad we don’t learn this stuff in school. We just don’t know what we don’t know.

In all your years of experience and teaching Conflict Resolution, Michael, what’s the most common weakness (or area of critical improvement) across your students that if only they were aware of it, it would really improve their abilities to go through times of conflict far more effectively?

3. Now that we are warmed up, Michael, I will let you lead the charge where you wanted to engage me and our fabulous listeners here to the conflict resolution exercises.

4. So I was reading one of your blog posts, “How to compensate for being an accommodator“, and was kinda surprised to find out that you are an accommodator. So your strategy was to partner with someone “LESS accommodating” in order to get a better result in the negotiation, which s brilliant but maybe not always practical.

What are 3 things an accommodator can do in the face of conflict to make sure he/she is not taken advantage of and yet still operate somewhat within their own comfort zone (if possible!)? Give us the real secrets here, Michael. We can handle it!

5. Our final question – which is the same question I ask all my interviewees and that is this: I want to leave our listeners with actionable steps so they can get a sense of applying what we discussed in their own lives. What is one (or two) things that the listeners can do RIGHT AWAY after this show to become BETTER and less scared of CONFLICT in their lives?

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  • Brett

    Great topic!

    I’m a different conflict mode for different situations… I’m more assertive when my values are violated… then mainly “collaborative” most of the time, I suspect… and then in another specific conflict I’m “avoidant” and could use a chain saw to cut down the oak tree I’ve allowed to grow…

    At any rate, “faking it” was a surprising strategy, but interesting… we’ll be hearing your Schwartzeneggar impersonation soon, then?

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      “Faking” it was an interesting one and probably not a favorite approach but I am grossly interested in resolving conflict so if at times I have to fake confidence or assertiveness, I think it’d be alright :)!

      Brett, good to see you and I hope you muster courage to face those conflicts… AND resolve them. And no fake impersonations from me. I leave those to the master: Johnny D. Domenico :)

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  • Melly Deen

    I found this show to be very insightful – AND funny! I liked how you handled the hotel fiasco situation, Farnoosh. Michael Brown was fun (great accent he has) – and perhaps in the future, more situation and role play.
    Giving you a vote to bring him back for more.

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Michael is definitely coming back on the show – I agree with you, Melly. Thanks so much for listening. It was fun to talk to him for sure! And I learned a thing or two about that whole negotiation and conflict business too 😉

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